Archive for the 'Disenfranchisement' Category

The Stolen Election of 2004

Posted in Disenfranchisement, Exit Polls, General, State by State on September 26th, 2006

By Michael Parenti

The 2004 presidential contest between Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry and the Republican incumbent, President Bush Jr., amounted to another stolen election. This has been well documented by such investigators as Rep. John Conyers, Mark Crispin Miller, Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman, Bev Harris, and others. Here is an overview of what they have reported, along with observations of my own.

Some 105 million citizens voted in 2000, but in 2004 the turnout climbed to at least 122 million. Pre-election surveys indicated that among the record 16.8 million new voters Kerry was a heavy favorite, a fact that went largely unreported by the press. In addition, there were about two million progressives who had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 who switched to Kerry in 2004.

Yet the official 2004 tallies showed Bush with 62 million votes, about 11.6 million more than he got in 2000. Meanwhile Kerry showed only eight million more votes than Gore received in 2000. To have achieved his remarkable 2004 tally, Bush would needed to have kept all his 50.4 million from 2000, plus a majority of the new voters, plus a large share of the very liberal Nader defectors.

Nothing in the campaign and in the opinion polls suggest such a mass crossover. The numbers simply do not add up.

In key states like Ohio, the Democrats achieved immense success at registering new voters, outdoing the Republicans by as much as five to one. Moreover the Democratic party was unusually united around its candidate-or certainly against the incumbent president. In contrast, prominent elements within the GOP displayed open disaffection, publicly voicing serious misgivings about the Bush administration’s huge budget deficits, reckless foreign policy, theocratic tendencies, and threats to individual liberties.

Sixty newspapers that had endorsed Bush in 2000 refused to do so in 2004; forty of them endorsed Kerry.

All through election day 2004, exit polls showed Kerry ahead by 53 to 47 percent, giving him a nationwide edge of about 1.5 million votes, and a solid victory in the electoral college. Yet strangely enough, the official tally gave Bush the election. Here are some examples of how the GOP “victory” was secured.

—In some places large numbers of Democratic registration forms disappeared, along with absentee ballots and provisional ballots. Sometimes absentee ballots were mailed out to voters just before election day, too late to be returned on time, or they were never mailed at all.

—Overseas ballots normally reliably distributed by the State Department were for some reason distributed by the Pentagon in 2004. Nearly half of the six million American voters living abroad—a noticeable number of whom formed anti-Bush organizations—never received their ballots or got them too late to vote. Military personnel, usually more inclined toward supporting the president, encountered no such problems with their overseas ballots.

—Voter Outreach of America, a company funded by the Republican National Committee, collected thousands of voter registration forms in Nevada, promising to turn them in to public officials, but then systematically destroyed the ones belonging to Democrats.

— Tens of thousands of Democratic voters were stricken from the rolls in several states because of “felonies” never committed, or committed by someone else, or for no given reason. Registration books in Democratic precincts were frequently out-of-date or incomplete. —Democratic precincts—enjoying record turnouts—were deprived of sufficient numbers of polling stations and voting machines, and many of the machines they had kept breaking down. After waiting long hours many people went home without voting. Pro-Bush precincts almost always had enough voting machines, all working well to make voting quick and convenient.

—A similar pattern was observed with student populations in several states: students at conservative Christian colleges had little or no wait at the polls, while students from liberal arts colleges were forced to line up for as long as ten hours, causing many to give up.

—In Lucas County, Ohio, one polling place never opened; the voting machines were locked in an office and no one could find the key. In Hamilton County many absentee voters could not cast a Democratic vote for president because John Kerry’s name had been “accidentally” removed when Ralph Nader was taken off the ballot.

—A polling station in a conservative evangelical church in Miami County, Ohio, recorded an impossibly high turnout of 98 percent, while a polling place in Democratic inner-city Cleveland recorded an impossibly low turnout of 7 percent.

—Latino, Native American, and African American voters in New Mexico who favored Kerry by two to one were five times more likely to have their ballots spoiled and discarded in districts supervised by Republican election officials. Many were given provisional ballots that subsequently were never counted. In these same Democratic areas Bush “won” an astonishing 68 to 31 percent upset victory. One Republican judge in New Mexico discarded hundreds of provisional ballots cast for Kerry, accepting only those that were for Bush.

—Cadres of rightwing activists, many of them religious fundamentalists, were financed by the Republican Party. Deployed to key Democratic precincts, they handed out flyers warning that voters who had unpaid parking tickets, an arrest record, or owed child support would be arrested at the polls—all untrue. They went door to door offering to “deliver” absentee ballots to the proper office, and announcing that Republicans were to vote on Tuesday (election day) and Democrats on Wednesday.

—Democratic poll watchers in Ohio, Arizona, and other states, who tried to monitor election night vote counting, were menaced and shut out by squads of GOP toughs. In Warren County, Ohio, immediately after the polls closed Republican officials announced a “terrorist attack” alert, and ordered the press to leave. They then moved all ballots to a warehouse where the counting was conducted in secret, producing an amazingly high tally for Bush, some 14,000 more votes than he had received in 2000. It wasn’t the terrorists who attacked Warren County.

—Bush did remarkably well with phantom populations. The number of his votes in Perry and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio, exceeded the number of registered voters, creating turnout rates as high as 124 percent. In Miami County nearly 19,000 additional votes eerily appeared in Bush’s column after all precincts had reported. In a small conservative suburban precinct of Columbus, where only 638 people were registered, the touchscreen machines tallied 4,258 votes for Bush.

—In almost half of New Mexico’s counties, more votes were reported than were recorded as being cast, and the tallies were consistently in Bush’s favor. These ghostly results were dismissed by New Mexico’s Republican Secretary of State as an “administrative lapse.”

Exit polls showed Kerry solidly ahead of Bush in both the popular vote and the electoral college. Exit polls are an exceptionally accurate measure of elections. In the last three elections in Germany, for example, exit polls were never off by more than three-tenths of one percent.

Unlike ordinary opinion polls, the exit sample is drawn from people who have actually just voted. It rules out those who say they will vote but never make it to the polls, those who cannot be sampled because they have no telephone or otherwise cannot be reached at home, those who are undecided or who change their minds about whom to support, and those who are turned away at the polls for one reason or another.

Exit polls have come to be considered so reliable that international organizations use them to validate election results in countries around the world.

Republicans argued that in 2004 the exit polls were inaccurate because they were taken only in the morning when Kerry voters came out in greater numbers. (Apparently Bush voters sleep late.) In fact, the polling was done at random intervals all through the day, and the evening results were as much favoring Kerry as the early results.

It was also argued that pollsters focused more on women (who favored Kerry) than men, or maybe large numbers of grumpy Republicans were less inclined than cheery Democrats to talk to pollsters. No evidence was put forth to substantiate these fanciful speculations.

Most revealing, the discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies were never random but worked to Bush’s advantage in ten of eleven swing states that were too close to call, sometimes by as much as 9.5 percent as in New Hampshire, an unheard of margin of error for an exit poll. In Nevada, Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa exit polls registered solid victories for Kerry, yet the official tally in each case went to Bush, a mystifying outcome.

In states that were not hotly contested the exit polls proved quite accurate. Thus exit polls in Utah predicted a Bush victory of 70.8 to 26.4 percent; the actual result was 71.1 to 26.4 percent. In Missouri, where the exit polls predicted a Bush victory of 54 to 46 percent, the final result was 53 to 46 percent.

One explanation for the strange anomalies in vote tallies was found in the widespread use of touchscreen electronic voting machines. These machines produced results that consistently favored Bush over Kerry, often in chillingly consistent contradiction to exit polls.

In 2003 more than 900 computer professionals had signed a petition urging that all touchscreen systems include a verifiable audit trail. Touchscreen voting machines can be easily programmed to go dead on election day or throw votes to the wrong candidate or make votes disappear while leaving the impression that everything is working fine.

A tiny number of operatives can easily access the entire computer network through one machine and thereby change votes at will. The touchscreen machines use trade secret code, and are tested, reviewed, and certified in complete secrecy. Verified counts are impossible because the machines leave no reliable paper trail.

Since the introduction of touchscreen voting, mysterious congressional election results have been increasing. In 2000 and 2002, Senate and House contests and state legislative races in North Carolina, Nebraska, Alabama, Minnesota, Colorado, and elsewhere produced dramatic and puzzling upsets, always at the expense of Democrats who were ahead in the polls.

In some counties in Texas, Virginia, and Ohio, voters who pressed the Democrat’s name found that the Republican candidate was chosen. In Cormal County, Texas, three GOP candidates won by exactly 18,181 votes apiece, a near statistical impossibility.

All of Georgia’s voters used Diebold touchscreen machines in 2002, and Georgia’s incumbent Democratic governor and incumbent Democratic senator, who were both well ahead in the polls just before the election, lost in amazing double-digit voting shifts.

This may be the most telling datum of all: In New Mexico in 2004 Kerry lost all precincts equipped with touchscreen machines, irrespective of income levels, ethnicity, and past voting patterns. The only thing that consistently correlated with his defeat in those precincts was the presence of the touchscreen machine itself.

In Florida Bush registered inexplicably sharp jumps in his vote (compared to 2000) in counties that used touchscreen machines.

Companies like Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S that market the touchscreen machines are owned by militant supporters of the Republican party. These companies have consistently refused to implement a paper-trail to dispel suspicions and give instant validation to the results of electronic voting. They prefer to keep things secret, claiming proprietary rights, a claim that has been backed in court.

Election officials are not allowed to evaluate the secret software. Apparently corporate trade secrets are more important than voting rights. In effect, corporations have privatized the electoral system, leaving it easily susceptible to fixed outcomes. Given this situation, it is not likely that the GOP will lose control of Congress come November 2006. The two-party monopoly threatens to become an even worse one-party tyranny.

Michael Parenti’s recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press). For more information visit: www.michaelparenti.org.

from ZNet

 

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State by State: Voting Rules and Restrictions

Posted in '06 Election, Disenfranchisement, General, Redistricting, State by State, Voter ID on September 1st, 2006

In his 2006 book “Stealing Democracy,” Spencer Overton illustrates historical and current flaws related to America’s voting system, including an overview of most states. Check the status of your home state below.

Also, find the latest rules in your state regarding:

Alabama

  • 2004: Residents of Asian ancestry account for one-third of the population of Bayou La Batre, and despite intimidation of Asian Americans at the voting polls, Phuong Tan Huynh becomes the first Asian American councilman in Bayou La Batre by fewer than 100 votes.
  • 1996: In Bayou La Batre, despite a sizeable Asian American community, only 15 of the town’s 800 votes were cast by Asian Americans.
  • 1995-2004: Alabama is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.
  • 1960s: Dallas County has a voting-age population estimated at 29,500, just over half of whom are black. However, politicians ensure that the rolls include only one percent of its black residents by requiring that applicants for registration pass and oral exam about the U.S. Constitution and possess “good character.”

Alaska

  • 1995-2004: Alaska is among the top 15 states with the largest low-English proficient populations.

Arizona

  • 1995-2004: Arizona ranks among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, largest minority group, and largest low-English-proficient population.

Arkansas

  • 1995-2004: Arkansas is among the top 15 states for largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, the least competition for voters of color, and the largest minority group.

California

  • 2004: All of the incumbent state legislators or U.S. House members who run retain their seats.
  • 2004: Ventura County, where 33 percent of the population is Latino and where 26,000 Spanish speaking U.S. citizens have limited English skills, is charged with failing to provide enough bilingual poll workers and voting materials. In response, the county agrees to provide its first Spanish-language ballot and offers bilingual county employees the day off with pay plus a stipend to ensure that 300 of the county’s 1,300 poll workers could speak both Spanish and English.
  • 2004: Los Angeles County provides ballots in more languages than any other area in the nation – including English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Of the 22,000 poll workers in the county leading up to the 2004 election, almost 5,000 said they were bilingual.
  • 2002: Democrat Michael Case decides not to make another run against Republican U.S. House incumbent Elton Gallegly where redistricting inflated registered Republicans from 39 to 46 percent and deflated registered Democrats from 40 to 35 percent of the district’s voters.
  • 2002: As a result of redistricting, only one of the fifty-three California U.S. House races is competitive.
  • 2002: No more than 17 of the 153 U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly seats at stake in California in 2002 are considered competitive, compared with 44 competitive seats following the 1991 redistricting.
  • 2002: Following the new U.S. house map, which removes Latino voters from Berman’s district and puts them in an adjacent district represented by another white Democrat, Berman’s voting constituency is reduced from 45 percent Latino to 31 percent.
  • 2002: In the November election, 100 percent of the incumbents who run win reelection. The padding of districts ensures that most races are not close. The average incumbent wins with 69 percent of the vote.
  • 2001: The California state legislature draws three new maps that assign a total of 173 districts: fifty-three U.S. House seats, forty State Senate seats, and eighty State Assembly seats. State Democrats effectively control the process and pay a consultant $1.36 million to draw the State Senate districts, and incumbent Democratic members of Congress collectively pay the consultant about $600,000 ($20,000 each) to draw the U.S. House map. The new maps protect almost all Republican and Democratic incumbents.
  • 1998: In the Democratic primary election, the Latino mayor of San Fernando, Raul Godinez, challenges Congressman Berman. Although three out of four Latinos votes for Godinez, Berman wins handily by receiving nine out of ten white votes.
  • 1996: Los Angeles County reports costs of $1.1 million to provide language assistance in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Tagalog at more than 5,600 polling places ($196 per poll).
  • 1995-2004: California is among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, , largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and officials of color in all elected positions, largest disparities in voter turnout, largest minority group, and largest low-English-proficient population.

Colorado

  • 1995-2004: Colorado is among the top 15 states with the largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and the largest low-English-proficient populations.

Connecticut

  • 1995-2004: Connecticut is among the top 15 states with the largest disparities between citizens of color and officials of color in all elected positions, the largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and the largest low-English-proficient population.

Florida

  • 2004: In anticipation of the 2004 election, the office of Florida Republican Secretary of State Glenda Hood compiled a list of “felons” to be omitted from voting rolls and refused to disclose the list to the public. After a court ordered the list’s release, journalists discovered that it improperly included 2,100 former prisoners who had successfully applied for a restoration of their voting rights. Due to another “computer error” about 22,000 African Americans were incorrectly included on the list.
  • 1995-2004: Florida is among the top 15 states with the largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and largest low-English-proficient populations.
  • Florida is one of only four democratic systems in the world that ban voting by all former offenders for life.
  • 2000: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore tires to design a ballot with large type so that it can be read by her county’s large senior population. The confusing ballot is never tested on sample voters, and in the real election it causes thousands in Palm Beach County to mistakenly vote for Pat Buchanan, costing Al Gore an estimated 6,607 Florida votes and the presidency.
  • 2000: Had former felons who had completed their sentences been allowed to vote, Al Gore would have won Florida (and thus the presidency) by about 31,000 votes.

Georgia

  • 2006: A photo ID requirement would exclude Americans of all backgrounds, but the elderly are some who would bear the greatest burden. According to the Georgia chapter of the AARP, 36 percent of Georgians over age seventy-five do not have a driver’s license.
  • 2005: A photo ID requirement would exclude Americans of all backgrounds, but people of color are some who would bear the greatest burden. Only one of the ten Georgia counties with the highest percentage of blacks had an office that issued state IDs, and no such office existed in Atlanta.
  • 2005: Secretary of State Cathy Cox states that she cannot recall one documented case of voter fraud relating to the impersonation of a registered voter at the polls during her ten-year tenure as secretary of state or assistant secretary of state.
  • 2005: Georgia reduces its list of acceptable identification from seventeen (including non-photo ID such a bank statement, utility bill, or government paycheck) to six forms of state-issued photo ID in an attempt to prevent “fraud.” But at the same time, Georgia scrapped its old law that limited absentee voting to people who met narrow requirements (such as being older than 75 or disabled) anyone who applies. The double standard is particularly disturbing because absentee ballots are widely acknowledged to be more susceptible to fraud than ballots cast at the polls. Further, whites are much more likely than African Americans to vote absentee.
  • 1995-2004: Georgia is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.
  • 1996-2006: Within the last ten years, politicians in Georgia have used Confederate-flag debates to polarize voters along racial lines.

Hawaii

  • 1995-2004: Hawaii is among the top 15 states with the largest minority group, and the largest low-English-proficient populations.

Idaho

  • 1995-2004: Idaho is among the top 15 states with the largest low-English-proficient populations.

Illinois

  • 1995-2004: Illinois is among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, and largest disparities between citizens of color and officials of color in all elected positions.

Indiana

  • 1995-2004: Indiana ranks among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, and largest racial disparities in voter turnout.

Kentucky

  • 1998: Because former felons are denied their right to vote, U.S. Republican Senator Jim Bunning ekes out a narrow victory, winning by only 6,766 votes (Kentucky banned 94,584 former offenders from voting).
  • Kentucky is one of only four democratic systems in the world that ban voting by all former offenders for life.
  • 1984: Had former felons who had completed their sentences been allowed to vote, U.S. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell would likely have lost the tightly contested Senate race.

Louisiana

  • 1995-2004: Louisiana is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers received to monitor elections, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.
  • 2002: Despite attempts at voter suppression, black turnout jumps to 27.1% of the electorate, effectively ensuring that Democrat Mary Landrieu beats Republican Suzanne Terrell for U.S. Senate.
  • 2003: whites who voted against Democrat Landrieu cross party lines to vote for white Democrat Kathleen Blanco over South Asian Bobby Jindal.
  • 2003: The African-American population in Ville Platte jumped from about 25 percent of the town’s population in 1980 to 56.6 percent in 2000. In 2003, city officials suggest a redistricting plan that reduces the African-American population in one of its six council districts from 55.1 to 38.1 percent, shifting many African Americans within this district to another district that was already 78.8 percent African American, thereby reducing the number of predominantly African-American council districts from four to three.
  • 1888-1910: The 1888 voter registration rolls contained the names of 127,923 African Americans and 126,884 whites, but by 1910 only 730 African Americans remained registered.

Maryland

  • 1995-2004: Maryland is ranks among top 15 states in largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and officials of color in all elected positions, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.

Massachusetts

  • 2005: Latinos hold two of the seven school-committee seats and four of the nine city-council seats.
  • 1995-2004: Massachusetts is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, the largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and the largest low-English-proficient population.
  • 2001: As a result of the voting-rights lawsuit, grassroots registration efforts, and more convenient voter-registration requirements, Latinos, who comprise more than 60 percent of Lawrence residents, make up 43.7 percent of the city’s registered voters.
  • 1999: Following settlement of a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice for violation of the Voting Rights Act, city officials agree to provide bilingual voting information, ballots and poll workers, and to disseminate election information through local Spanish-language media and community groups.
  • 1990: Though approximately 70 percent of the students in Lawrence Public Schools are Latino, no one on the seven-member school committee is Latino.
  • 1990: Latinos increase to 25 percent of Lawrence’s voting-age-citizen population, but they comprise only 11 percent of registered voters.

Michigan

  • 1995-2004: Michigan is among the top 15 states in most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, and least competition for voters of color.
  • 2001: Republicans control all three branches of Michigan’s government and draft legislative maps that expand their party’s power in both chambers.

Mississippi

  • 1996-2006: Within the last ten years, politicians in Mississippi have used Confederate-flag debates to polarize voters along racial lines.
  • 1995-2004: Mississippi is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers received to monitor elections, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.
  • 2003: African Americans cast 94 percent of their votes for incumbent Democratic Governor Ronnie Musgrove, but their turnout is not large enough to offset the 77 percent of white voters who favor former National Republican Party Chair Haley Barbour, who Musgrove by fewer than 61,000 votes.
  • 2001: In the town of Kilmichael, where the number of African-Americans has grown to over 52 percent of the town’s population, there were several African-American candidates qualified for the mayoral and board races and a very strong possibility that African-American candidates would win most of the municipal offices. However, three weeks before the general election, the incumbent, all-white board of alderman voted unanimously to cancel the election.
  • 1965: Following passage of the Voting Rights Act, African American registration increased from less than 6.7 percent in 1965 to 60 percent in 1968.

Minnesota

  • 1998: Minnesota’s same-day registration allowed 250,000 new voters to mobilize around and elect as governor political newcomer Jesse Ventura, who won by under 57,000 votes.

Montana

  • 1995-2004: Montana is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita.

Nebraska

  • 2006: As a result of grass roots efforts promoting campaign finance reform, almost all of Nebraska’s state legislative candidates voluntarily agree to limit their spending to $75,000 in order to receive public funds.

New Jersey

  • 1995-2004: New Jersey is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and largest low-English-proficient population.

New Mexico

  • 1995-2004: New Mexico is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, largest minority group, and largest low-English-proficient populations.

New York

  • 1990-2003: In the early 1990s, up to 70 percent of residents in New York’s Chinatown spoke little English and only about 30 percent of eligible Chinatown voters were registered. In 1996, after the city added Chinese voting materials and oral assistance, an estimated 30 percent of the Chinese-American voters in the city relied on the Chinese ballots, the cost of which accounted for under 4 percent of the city’s total $16 million election budget.
  • In New York City, which has no photo-ID requirement, a study showed that poll workers illegally asked one in six Asian Americans for identification at the polls.
  • 1995-2004: New York is among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and officials of color in all elected positions, least party competition for voters of color, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, largest low-English-proficient populations.

North Dakota

  • 1995-2004: North Dakota ranks among the top 15 states in voting objections and claims per capita.
  • 1995-2004: North Carolina is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.

Ohio

  • 2004: Voters at the polls wait in for as long as 5 hours due to large voter turnout and too few voting machines.
  • 2004: In Franklin County, 102,000 new voters were added to the registration rolls, but because too few voting machines are provided, there are 170 voters per machine and up to a five-hour wait to cast a ballot.
  • 2004: Four years after Florida’s hanging-chad fiasco, only 13.1 percent of American voters use punch-card machines, but more than 70 percent of Ohio voters use such machines.
  • 2004: Ohio punch-card machines produce more than 76,000 spoiled ballots in the November presidential election (a smaller number than President Bush’s 118,600-vote margin of victory over Senator Kerry).
  • 2004: A federal court in Ohio found that during the 2004 presidential election, Republicans deployed their poll monitors so that only 14 percent of new voters in predominantly white precincts would face a Republican challenger, while fully 97 percent of new voters in African-American precincts would face one.
  • 2002 and 2004: A statewide survey found four instances of ineligible persons voting or attempting to vote in 2002 and 2004, out of 9,078,728 votes cast – a rate of 0.00004%.

Oklahoma

  • 1995-2004: Oklahoma is among the top 15 states with the largest racial disparities in voter turnout.

Pennsylvania

  • 1995-2004: Pennsylvania is among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita, and least party competition for voters of color.

Rhode Island

  • 1995-2004: Rhode Island is among the top 15 states with the largest low-English-proficient populations.
  • 1996: Central Falls, Rhode Island reports that it spent $100 in printing costs for Spanish materials used at nine polling places (just over $11 per poll).

South Dakota

  • 2003: Though many American Indians in South Dakota do not drive cars and lack driver’s licenses, and though several tribes do not issue photo-identification cards, the Republican-controlled South Dakota legislature instigates a photo-identification provision, requiring voters to now show poll workers a South Dakota driver’s license, a state-issued photo ID, a tribal photo ID, or a state university ID.
  • 1995-2005: South Dakota ranks among the top 15 states in the most voting objections and claims per capita.
  • 2004: Data from the first election covered by the photo ID law indicate that a disproportionately large number of American Indian voters did not bring photo IDs to the polls.
  • 2004: In lieu of photo ID, affidavits were signed by under 2 percent of voters statewide, but in each of the predominantly American Indian counties, 5.3 percent to 16 percent of voters signed affidavits.

South Carolina

  • 1996-2006: Within the last ten years, politicians in South Carolina have used Confederate-flag debates to polarize voters along racial lines.
  • 2005: Based on government pay scales, the state annually pays out less than $18,300 in salaries devoted to compliance with Section 5, averaging under $458 per submission in a year with forty submissions. By contrast, incumbent politicians on the Charleston County Council spent more than $1.5 million of taxpayer funds fighting a single voting rights lawsuit against the Justice Department.
  • 1995-2004: South Carolina is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, most federal observers received to monitor elections, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, least party competition for voters of color, and largest minority group.
  • 2003: In the early 1990s a number of African Americans living southeast of the town of North’s boundary petition to become a part of North, but officials reject the petition with no explanation. If officials had accepted the petition, African Americans would have become the majority of the town’s population. Curiously, in September 2003, the town of North approves a petition to annex a small group of white voters into their town.

Tennessee

  • 1995-2004: Tennessee is among the top 15 states with the least party competition for voters of color.

Texas

  • 2004: By redrawing districts that snake hundreds of miles across various counties, Republicans inflate their power so that following the 2004 election they control 66 percent of the Texas congressional seats.
  • 1995-2004: Texas is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, largest disparities between citizens of color and statewide elected officials of color, largest disparities between citizens of color and all elected officials of color, largest racial disparities in voter turnout, and largest low-English-proficient population.
  • 2003: Enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act prevents Waller County district attorney, Republican Oliver KItzman, from denying students at Prairie View A&M University, a historically black college, the right to register or to vote.
  • 2002: 53 percent of Texas voters cast their ballots for Republican congressional candidates, but Republicans control only 47 percent of the Texas congressional seats.
  • 2001: Incumbent Democrat Lee Brown, Houston’s first African-American mayor, increases African-American turnout by 30 percent to narrowly defeat Republican Orlando Sanchez by one percentage point.
  • 1974: Vilma Martinez, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, testifies before Congress that election officials in Uvalde County, Texas, refused to name Latinos as deputy registrars, removed registered Latino voters from voting polls, and refused to aid Spanish speakers who spoke little English.

Utah

  • 1995-2004: Utah ranks among the top 15 states in most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita.

Virginia

  • 1995-2004: Virginia is among the top 15 states in voting rights objections and claims per capita, largest disparities in voter turnout, and largest minority group.
  • Virginia is one of only four democratic systems in the world that ban voting by all former offenders for life. P.

Washington

  • 2004: Though seventy percent of the state turns out to vote in the election for governor, only 57 percent of the Asian Americans, who largely support the democratic candidate Christine Gregoire, go to the polls. As a result, Gregoire wins by a mere 128 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast.
  • 1995-2004: Washington is among the top 15 states for most federal observers sent to monitor elections per capita.
  • 2004: An extensive investigation following the 2004 election uncovered less than one case of double voting or voting in the name of another for every 100,000 ballots cast.

Wisconsin

2004: In Milwaukee, half the city’s residents are white and more than a third are African-American. In a non-partisan mayoral race featuring two democratic candidates, white candidate Tom Barrett beats African-American candidate Marvin Pratt. Polls show that 92 percent of African-Americans voted for Pratt, while 83 percent of white voters cast ballots for Barrett.

Originally posted on PBS.org

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